Riot Festival 2018
Riot Fest is an annual three day rock music festival taking place in Douglas Park in Chicago, IL.
Local Chicago band Beach Bunny’s first time at Riot Fest brought out the most supportive crowd of the weekend with “I love you” cheers ringing through every silence. Where else would you find grown men moshing to the “iCarly” theme song bright and early on a Saturday?
In the minutes before Reignwolf took the stage, crowd members discussed all the ways these Canadian rockers would “save music.” Frontman Jordan Cook spent the majority of the show on boxes off stage, interacting with fans and taking a ride on a security guard’s shoulders. By the end of the face-melting set, fans and strangers to the band alike were left speechless.
Day two of Riot Fest had plenty of Chicago bands to check out, but Twin Peaks was on everyone’s radar drawing a massive crowd to welcome the band back to Riot Fest.
RUN THE JEWELS:
Rap group Run The Jewels headlined the final night of the music festival, a nice change of pace from the rock roots of the three day concert. Run The Jewels played for a short hour, delivering energetic messages of love and respect and using their platform to speak about politics all while reminding fans they are not a political group, despite what people may think.
California outfit SWMRS wants you to know they will be the best concert you have ever seen in your life. Though they are young, they performed with such a confidence and swagger that more seasoned bands that weekend lacked. Using their free moments, they urged fans to work with them to end sexual assault at shows, a refreshing sight.
THE WONDER YEARS:
Pop punk band The Wonder Years brought the most unifying moment Riot Fest had possibly ever seen, encouraging fans to hug their loved ones and hold up their lights. A sea of thousands swayed with the ones they love under a sky of lighter stars. Singer Dan Campbell shared an anecdote about his favorite Riot Fest memory being from 2013 when he got crowd surfed to a tree at the back and finished the set there; that was until this happened. It is now not just his new favorite Riot Fest memory, but one of his favorite memories of all time. He isn't alone in that.
The Districts played an early slot on Saturday, but that didn't stop them from packing the Riot Stage and bringing the heat. All who attended walked away from that set sweating and covered in dirt, sure signs of a good time.
The 90s/00s emocore band Piebald drew a surprising mix of people to watch their set, equal parts people who seemed too old to know the band and people who seemed like they weren't even born yet when this band was formed. It was a heartwarming and eye-opening sight to behold.